If any of you lovely people have the misfortune of following my instagram feed (i.e. lots of #foodporn, photos of old buildings and my feet), you may have seen that I am having a bit of a love affair with Lentil as Anything, particularly the lovely restaurant down at the Abbotsford Convent.
In a brief summary, Lentil as Anything is a not-for-profit chain of restaurants in Melbourne with a "pay as you feel" philosophy. Food is prepared and served predominately by volunteers, is vegetarian and is as sustainable and locally sourced as possible. There is no prices on any of the meals. Rather, you come in and enjoy your food, then pay what you feel the meal was worth in one of the "magic boxes" on your way out. The aim of this is to focus on individuals, rather than money, so that those that can't afford to pay for a regular meal at a restaurant can pay as much - or as little - as they want without feeling looked down upon.
I have been to both the Footscray and Abbotsford restaurants, which offer a communal eating atmosphere, and a self serve buffet of deliciousness. Simply grab a plate and load it up with what you will.
I am drooling looking back at this photo. Meals usually consist of curries, rice, salads, and often focus around a particular cuisine. I've had Mexican, Ethiopian (best injera ever) and Mediterranean.
The two other restaurants I have yet to check out (emphasis on "yet" here) are in Preston and St Kilda, and offer a menu rather than buffet style affair. The philosophy behind Lentils is fantastic, and the generosity of volunteers and patrons is amazing. I am eager to see developments of this organisation in the future!
I love the chilled out atmosphere at Abbotsford restaurant, as well as the Convent itself. I could spend all day gazing at this beautiful old buildings.
Have you been to Lentil as Anything before? Or the Convent? It is such a beautiful part of the city.